This is gsk's Typepad Profile.
Join Typepad and start following gsk's activity
Join Now!
Already a member? Sign In
gsk
Recent Activity
Image
Sashimani Devi was the last of the ritual temple dancers, whose vocation stems back to the 12th century. At the age of three. she was left at the temple by her parents, and the women there raised her and taught her what she needed to know. The Hindu god Jagannath, an avatar, or incarnation, of Vishnu, gives his name to the English term juggernaut, inspired by a festival in which the image of the god is pulled along the streets in a huge, ornately carved wooden temple cart. Traditionally, devotees would sometimes cast themselves under its wheels in the hope of freeing themselves from the cycle of death and rebirth. Devadasis were girls who were given to the temple by their families during childhood to be the mortal wives of the god. After their “marriage” to Jagannath their duties included performing ritual baths and private songs and dances at the god’s bedtime, dressed in special jewellery and bedecked with flowers. During and after the colonial era, however, the devadasi system fell into disrepute, owing to the corruption of the practice in other parts of India, where devadasis became, in effect, prostitutes for upper caste temple patrons. By contrast the devadasis... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at feminine-genius
Image
Patti McGuire Armstrong has written a thoughtful piece comparing the apparent narcissism of Kim Kardashian with a selfless Catholic priest. Before we write off the selfie-queen entirely, I was mildly gratified to see that she did visit the Armenian Genocide Memorial in Yerevan, highlighting the horrors that took place a century ago in that country (having descended from those who escaped just in time). It was the least she could do -- and she did it. Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at feminine-genius
Image
There is an excellent piece by Dawn Hawkins on the harms of Cosmo, which is [surprise] geared to very young girls, not women (the 18-24 claim is shown to be false by the celebrities chosen, as this article proves). You're familiar with the vulgar cover and the decadent articles trumpeted at every checkout stand, but there's a concerted effort to at least minimise some of the effects on passers-by here. If you step back and consider what we want all the young girls in our community to know about their future, to believe about themselves, to imagine in their heart-of-hearts, this isn't it. And without attentive fathers in the home to protect them, without a media with standards to filter these messages, without healthy family models around them to show them authentic love, is it any wonder that they're making ghastly choices from a very young age? Let's step up and try to help. Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at feminine-genius
For some reason, Mary Kay Letourneau (the teacher who seduced a 13-yr-old student) is back in the news, perhaps because she believes the moral climate has changed enough to allow her back into the classroom. I need to outline a few details, not for the sake of salacious gossip, but because the reaction to this gambit will give a good indication of how much we've changed in the last 15 years. When Mary Kay Letourneau Fualaau was forced to go public in 1997 with an affair she was having with her former sixth grade student, Vili Fualaau, after she became pregnant with his child, it was the teacher-student sex scandal heard around the world. At the time, Mary was a 34-year-old, married teacher in Seattle, who already had four children of her own. Vili was just 13 years old. Mary was arrested and served seven and a half years in prison. Today, Mary is 53 and Vili is 31. The couple is still together and are about to celebrate their 10th wedding anniversary. The two daughters they have together are now teenagers -- older than Vili was when the affair started. How did her victim process his injury? What sort... Continue reading
Posted Apr 12, 2015 at feminine-genius
There are two riveting accounts at the Witherspoon Institute of how gender disphoria harms children. The first shows the irresponsibility of the medical community for suggesting that sex-reassignment surgery can heal emotional wounds: It wasn’t my mother but my grandmother who clothed me in a purple chiffon dress she made for me. That dress set in motion a life filled with gender dysphoria, sexual abuse, alcohol and drug abuse, and finally, an unnecessary gender reassignment surgery. My life was ripped apart by a trusted adult who enjoyed dressing me as a girl. My mom and dad didn’t have any idea that when they dropped their son off for a weekend at Grandma’s that she was dressing their boy in girls’ clothes. Grandma told me it was our little secret. My grandmother withheld affirmations of me as a boy, but she lavished delighted praise upon me when I was dressed as a girl. Feelings of euphoria swept over me with her praise, followed later by depression and insecurity about being a boy. Her actions planted the idea in me that I was born in the wrong body. She nourished and encouraged the idea, and over time it took on a life... Continue reading
Posted Apr 9, 2015 at feminine-genius
This piece by Jimmy Carter is sad but typical. I HAVE been a practising Christian all my life and a deacon and Bible teacher for many years. My faith is a source of strength and comfort to me, as religious beliefs are to hundreds of millions of people around the world. So my decision to sever my ties with the Southern Baptist Convention, after six decades, was painful and difficult. It was, however, an unavoidable decision when the convention's leaders, quoting a few carefully selected Bible verses and claiming that Eve was created second to Adam and was responsible for original sin, ordained that women must be "subservient" to their husbands and prohibited from serving as deacons, pastors or chaplains in the military service. This view that women are somehow inferior to men is not restricted to one religion or belief. Women are prevented from playing a full and equal role in many faiths. Nor, tragically, does its influence stop at the walls of the church, mosque, synagogue or temple. This discrimination, unjustifiably attributed to a Higher Authority, has provided a reason or excuse for the deprivation of women's equal rights across the world for centuries. At its most repugnant,... Continue reading
Posted Apr 9, 2015 at feminine-genius
Image
For MadMen followers, we enter the bittersweet time of watching the show wind down, but for all my searching this morning, I couldn't find the most important line repeated anywhere. It's as though everyone simply ignored it. Of course, it was Peggy who noted the stunning truth after going on a blind date that went remarkably well. The young man followed her to her apartment, and he assumed they could just hop in the sack -- like everyone else. Peggy was raised Catholic, but embraced the zeitgeist with both arms: giving birth to an illegitimate child (which she placed for adoption), agreeing to cohabitate when she clearly wanted marriage, and alienating co-workers and family because of her success at work. What does she say to zealous Stevie? When she stops him from fumbling with her clothes, he grumbles: “You’re so old-fashioned,” to which she answers: “I’ve tried new-fashioned.” And her follow-up line is tinged with hard-won wisdom: "I thought you were a fling and now I think you're more." So he kisses her sweetly and leaves. And she smiles. No wonder everyone wants to pass that over -- it's the starkest truth uttered on the show thus far. (The exchange... Continue reading
Posted Apr 6, 2015 at feminine-genius
This piece is laugh out loud funny, and a real shot in the arm to young mothers: I wish I would have known how new babies make all feelings MORE (and this from a girl who was already fairly high on melodrama): more thrill, more love, more anguish, more adoration, more fear, more gratitude, more doubt, more crazy. You may have been an emotionally sturdy professional just a minute ago, but a newborn takes your heart and mind, squishes them into pulp in her fat little baby hands, and turns you into a woman face down in despair over a Subaru commercial. Who is this sloppy woman in the mirror? Good lord, put on some clean pants and get your crap together! It does get easier eventually, but the drama goes from physical exhaustion to mental overload (at times). That said, she's spot on -- you really do enjoy these little ones as bona fide people one day. Such a privilege to ride this roller coaster! Continue reading
Posted Mar 27, 2015 at feminine-genius
Image
From Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger: The annunciation to Mary happens to a woman, in an insignificant town in half-pagan Galilee, known neither to Josephus nor the Talmud. The entire scene was "unusual for Jewish sensibilities. God reveals himself, where and to whom he wishes." Thus begins a new way, at whose center stands no longer the temple, but the simplicity of Jesus Christ. He is now the true temple, the tent of meeting. The salutation to Mary (Lk 1:28-32) is modeled closely on Zephaniah 3: 14-17: Mary is the daughter Zion addressed there, summoned to " rejoice", in formed that the Lord is coming to her. Her fear is removed, since the Lord is in her midst to save her. Laurentin makes the very beautiful remark on this text: "... As so often, the word of God proves to be a mustard seed.... One understands why Mary was so frightened by this message (Lk 1:29). Her fear comes not from lack of understanding nor from that small-hearted anxiety to which some would like to reduce it. It comes from the trepidation of that encounter with God, that immeasurable joy which can make the most hardened natures quake." In the address of... Continue reading
Posted Mar 25, 2015 at feminine-genius
Don't miss this stunning piece by Julie Holland in the NYT, which may signal a slow return of sanity to [some fringy corners?] of the social sciences. It begins: WOMEN are moody. By evolutionary design, we are hard-wired to be sensitive to our environments, empathic to our children’s needs and intuitive of our partners’ intentions. This is basic to our survival and that of our offspring. Some research suggests that women are often better at articulating their feelings than men because as the female brain develops, more capacity is reserved for language, memory, hearing and observing emotions in others. The writer is a psychiatrist, who notes that "at least one in four women in America now takes a psychiatric medication, compared with one in seven men ... This is insane." And MercatorNet's Carolyn Moynihan has written an excellent follow-up, which brings to light the other "pills" that have been used for decades to mask a normal dimension of femininity: What is really interesting in all this is Holland’s assumption that human biology has an ethical meaning: if you feel bad physically or mentally your body is telling you something and you had better listen and perhaps change, not just get... Continue reading
Posted Mar 9, 2015 at feminine-genius
Posted Mar 5, 2015 at feminine-genius
C-Fam is hosting an important panel next week, which will be chaired by local writer and human rights activist Dr Susan Yoshihara. She writes: Among the hundreds of Christians and minorities abducted by Islamic State terrorists are women and girls forced into marriage and sexual slavery. As world leaders fumble to respond to ISIS attacks, another crisis looms – the perilous future of these women and girls and the children they will conceive during captivity. Having researched the topic thoroughly, she is familiar with many historical examples, and since rape as a tool of war is nothing new we know two important facts: such children suffer tremendously because of the circumstances of their conception; and most aid programs do little to help them because they are not technically "survivors" of the conflicts. While tight-knit families and long-standing cultures have their strengths, they rarely welcome those whom they see as "children of the enemy" because of the shame that attaches to them and their mothers. One presenter will offer her own research from Africa: Eunice Apio has been working for more than a decade in Northern Uganda with women abducted by the guerilla group Lord’s Resistance Army and with their children... Continue reading
Posted Mar 5, 2015 at feminine-genius
A group of elderly women were spared by ISIS, and when found later by a group from Aid to the Church in Need, they recounted their story of encounter with the frightening militants. They had been spared for some reason, and that despite their testament of firm faith in the face of death. For four days, they locked themselves in their home, not daring to venture out. “Prayer sustained us,” said Victoria. But they needed food for the body as well as food for the soul and when supplies ran dangerously low they went in search of water and other basics. Inevitably they ran into IS forces. Explaining their situation, they asked for help and to their surprise IS gave them water even after they refused a request to abandon their faith. A few days later, IS found them in their homes and rounded them up at St Barbara’s shrine just on the edge of Caramles. There were about a dozen of them there, the last remaining Christian inhabitants of the village. “You must convert,” IS forces told them. “Our faith can promise you paradise,” they added. Victoria and Gazella responded: “We believe that if we show love and kindness,... Continue reading
Posted Mar 5, 2015 at feminine-genius
The deadline is fast approaching for a Day of Reflection at Saint Mary's parish in Ridgefield, CT. Details are here. Should be a lovely day, and you could get some serious spring cleaning done early! Continue reading
Posted Feb 26, 2015 at feminine-genius
... on men, for a change! Continue reading
Posted Feb 9, 2015 at feminine-genius
For twenty years, I've stuck to the topic of authentic femininity, but I've branched out a little. This fine group asked for an interview, and the old girl had a few thoughts about men. Find Chatty Cathy here! Continue reading
Posted Feb 6, 2015 at feminine-genius
The next time you think, "Darn it--kids these days!" take a moment to remember this outstanding young lady in Alaska: In addition to the selfless act of sharing her child through adoption, 19-year-old Kaleena Pysher has succeeded in providing her baby milk, even though the adoptive parents live out of state. She’s also prevailed despite the complex feelings of separation, knowing her gift is one of love. “I know in my heart and my mind this is the best thing,” Pysher said told Alaska Dispatch News. It sounds like abortion was never an option, and that pumping around the clock (every two hours for six weeks!) was something she knew was in the child's best interest. Her motivation for donating her breast milk for her daughter is the same as her reason for choosing adoption. “I want her to have the best,” said Pysher. Pysher, who gave birth in November, bonded with her baby during pregnancy, singing and reading to her. Giving birth went well for Pysher too. “As soon as she came out, they plopped her on my chest,” she said. “She was crying. I was just so happy.” Pysher had learned about the benefits of breastfeeding through a... Continue reading
Posted Feb 5, 2015 at feminine-genius
Is it possible that we could reach out to non-believers, to feminists, to bring to light the horrors of FGM? This video is excellent in showing the faces -- you owe it to them to just look at the photos of the young girls as they suffer this horrific abuse. That said, I take issue with the way that this is linked to generic patriarchy. Remember the distinct difference between the Trinitarian God and Allah, between God the Father and Allah who is unknowable and Not-Father, between those who honour the gifts and fundamental equality of women and those who don't. There are patriarchies, and there are patriarchies. Those that mirror the Fatherhood of a loving God are authentic--and quite different from all the rest! Continue reading
Posted Feb 5, 2015 at feminine-genius
Not everyone shrugs his shoulders and looks the other way: Jim Guell, 73, and a retired insurance broker, lives in a mobile home park north of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, directly across Highway 41 from where a series of billboards have been advertising competing local adult stores. Six billboards, three each, for the sex shops Lion’s Den and Xcite are in close proximity in a string of eight billboards on the highway. "I got tired of seeing those advertisements, those boards, every time I came home," Guell, a member of the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic fraternal association, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "I look out the window of my home and they're lit at night and I thought, I've got to combat this some way." He got the ball rolling, talked up the issue, passed the hat, and invited others to join the fight. Now there are competing messages --and not just among the smut vendors: So the line of messages on the eight 48-by-14-foot signs, approximately 500 feet from each other within two-thirds of a mile, goes like this: Horicon bank, Lion’s Den Adult Superstore, “Got God?”, “What would Jesus say about pornography?/Porn Destroys Love,” Lion’s Den Adult... Continue reading
Posted Jan 19, 2015 at feminine-genius
Image
Lisa Mladinich has put together a wonderful piece at Patheos. It's an excellent review of the book, Guiding your Children Through Grief, and she illustrates it with a very helpful example from her how family--reminding us that grief results from more than the short list of expected events. Mothers, especially, should be aware of this resource (and another mentioned in the comment section) and perhaps familiarise themselves with the process, even if tragedy hasn't struck. It might provide a good "checklist" for our own lives, what was handled well, and where there may be some fragile spots in our own journeys. It's never to late to mind and mend! Continue reading
Posted Jan 19, 2015 at feminine-genius
Image
Virgin-born, we bow before you: Blessed was the womb that bore you; Mary, Mother meek and mild, Blessed was she in her Child. Blessed was the breast that fed you; Blessed was the hand that led you; Blessed was the parent’s eye That watched your slumbering infancy. Blessed she by all creation, Who brought forth the world’s salvation, And blessed they, forever blest, Who love you most and serve you best. Virgin-born, we bow before you; Blessed was the womb that bore you; Mary, Mother meek and mild, Blessed was she in her Child [from the Geneva Psalter]. Prayers, dear readers. Continue reading
Posted Jan 1, 2015 at feminine-genius
Image
All rape is reprehensible, and yet there's something about the element of hypocrisy in the Cosby story that adds to the indignity -- and the problem is two-fold. First. there is the toxicity of our depraved celebrity culture; and second, the unfortunate damage cast upon fatherhood, which cannot avoid taking the hit in this unfolding saga, because the story involves one of the few television shows that highlighted a strong, dedicated, and likeable dad. First, we must remember that we're at the stage of allegations: Comedian Bill Cosby spoke out against a wave of sexual assault allegations but told a Florida publication he does not have to "answer to innuendos." Cosby, 77, spoke to the newspaper Florida Today on Friday, before performing his comedy routine at a theater in Melbourne, Florida. The comedian has refused to address questions about allegations made by a number of women who said he forced himself on them sexually, with some accusing him of drugging them first. Cosby received a standing ovation at the start of his 90-minute show in Melbourne. True enough, his point is valid, but the fact that presently the number of women stands at sixteen gives one pause, and the consistency... Continue reading
Posted Nov 24, 2014 at feminine-genius
Beautiful quote herein: "One cannot love without suffering, or suffer without love" (Gianna Beretta Molla). showing "an alternative Gospel way of compelling beauty" -- Saint Gianna, pray for us! Continue reading
Posted Nov 21, 2014 at feminine-genius
If the world has you down, take a few minutes at least to watch the first of these Humanum videos: There are six in all (found here) -- beautifully written, compellingly filmed, and grounded in eternal truths. If we simply live this reality, all will be well. Continue reading
Posted Nov 21, 2014 at feminine-genius